By Sofia Jesus

A voice on the radio told me there was “a starman waiting in the sky,” who would “like to come and meet us,” but “he thinks he’d blow our minds”. It wasn’t David, but the lady borrowing his words and melody still warmed my heart as I drove downhill this morning.

The song — the words, the chords, the memories — made me wonder when was the last time I had gazed at the stars. Too long ago, I realized.

So, incapable of waiting for a clear sky in Coloane with only a glimpse of what elsewhere could be a truly starry night, I followed the starman. I headed to the Macao Science Center, and bought a ticket to the show running at that time at the Planetarium.

“Uh… It’s a cartoon, you know?,” said the lady at the box office when I said I only wanted to buy one ticket to the show “We are Stars 3D”.

I hesitated. “Don’t you have any shows for adults at the Planetarium?” No, the lady replied. “But you have the exhibitions,” she said, handing over a leaflet I didn’t read. I don’t know if she was referring to today or everyday. But then again, I tend to find the line between what could amuse only children and what could amuse only adults to be quite thin.

I handed over 30 patacas to her and bought the ticket for the planetarium show. I didn’t want to walk through a gallery, as interesting as it might be. I wanted to sit in the dark, alone, headphones on, and get lost in the moment, staring at the dome above me.

So, I did.

The Victorian time cartoon travellers “exploring our cosmic chemistry and our explosive origins” — as described in the Macao Science Center official website — did not bother me. For they did lead me through a journey to the big picture. A “13.8 billion-year adventure,” as advertised.

I did get tickled in my tummy, and found enough dizziness as if flying or free falling; I did feel floating alone in space; I did see the night sky; I did see stars.

And, apart from all the emotional side of it, I did learn something — on atoms, and protons and neutrons and the beauty of being one with everything around me and beyond.

[I also learned that “the highest resolution 3D planetarium is the planetarium of the Macao Science Center,” according to the Guiness World Records certificate hanging at the entrance. Did you know that?]

As I left the planetarium, a cloud of children’s laughs and giggles acted like gravity and pulled me back to here-and-now. Though I regret there was nothing on for adults at the Planetarium — something with less cartoons, more real images of the night sky and the universe, and a deeper narrative — I did feel a bit fuller. Cause I felt a lot tinier.

On my way back, I thought again of the starman that had visited me this morning as I drove amidst trees and timid rain. It was when I recalled he also “told us not to blow it,” “’cause he knows it’s all worthwhile”: “Let the children lose it; let the children use it; let all the children boogie.”

 

Note: This is NOT fiction.